Raking and carrying off

On larger plots one may use a ‘raking machine’ to rake the grass into stacks. Smaller raking machines may be coupled onto two-wheeled tractors, for the larger ones one needs to use a four-wheel tractor. The raking machine should be adjusted in such a way that it does not rake the soil open and damage the sod. It is possible, however, to adjust the raking machine to such a height that it rakes out the moss layers from moss-covered turf, creating new spots for desired species to establish themselves. Specific, small-scale disturbances of the sod must be created from time to time in order to present opportunities for the recruitment of existing and new species. Collecting and carrying off can be done mechanically if the soil can carry the machine’s weight, as a powerful heavy tractor is required. These methods can therefore only be applied without causing damage under dry conditions. The likely type of damage is the formation of tracks, but also damage to plant buds and rosettes. On wet and peaty soil, heavy equipment will always result in the deterioration of the soil structure, both internal and superficial. The formation of tracks will make mowing and carrying off increasingly harder through the years. Manually performed maintenance work will always give the best results where this is economically feasible.